History of the Model OAS General Assembly

The Model OAS General Assembly (MOAS) Program for universities began in 1980 as a joint project between the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) and Georgetown University, with the goal of educating university students from the United States about issues related to the Americas. The first official Model OAS General Assembly for Universities was held on March 24-27, 1980, in Washington, DC, with the participation of 19 universities from Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and the D.C. area. The first MOAS for high schools was held at OAS Headquarters in 1982, with mostly DC-area schools, the first MOAS for high schools was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. The High School Model OAS General Assembly has been held annually in December at OAS headquarters, and has continually expanded in size and prestige.

In 1983 the GS/OAS became the sole sponsor of this program for universities; Georgetown University continued in the program as a participating institution.  From 1991 to 2003, the MOAS expanded to include universities from Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico attending the MOAS held in Washington, DC. Additionally, two national MOAS for high school were held abroad: Quito, Ecuador in 1994 and Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 1995.

The first international MOAS for universities was held abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1997.  It was co-sponsored by the Universidad del Salvador and the Argentine Government, and was attended by 500 students from 25 universities from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

In addition to the Washington MOAS (WMOAS) organized jointly by the OAS and the Inter American Institute for Diplomacy (IAID), in March-April of each year, since the year 2000 the MOAS for universities is also held in the Member States. In 2009 the IAID changed its name to the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas (IDDA) and continues co-sponsor the WMOAS.

Since 2005 the MOAS Program has successfully developed, modernized and reached unprecedented levels of participation by universities from throughout the Hemisphere. This expansion has resulted in the organization of at least 6 to 7 MOAS per year (including university, high school and OAS interns MOAS), as well as national, local or inter-institutional Models, either for high schools or universities in the OAS Member States.

Hemispheric Models for Universities: Buenos Aires, Argentina (1997), Edmonton, Canada (2000); San Martin de los Andes, Argentina (2001); Querétaro, México (2003); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (March 2006); Barranquilla, Colombia (October 2006); Buenos Aires, Argentina (December 2007); Santiago, Chile (July 2008); San Pedro Sula, Honduras (April 2009); Lima, Peru (May 2010); San Salvador, El Salvador (2011); Cochabamba, Bolivia (2012); Washington, DC, United States (2013); Arequipa, Peru (2014), and Saint Kitts and Nevis (2015).

National Models: Efforts in Member Countries to organize national MOAS, either for universities or high schools are possible through agreements with the OAS. To date the following national Models have been organized: First National MOAS for Colombian Universities. Medellin, Colombia (May 2008); Dominican Model of the Inter-American System - MODOSI, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (held annually since 2011); National MOAS for Chilean High Schools - Santiago, Chile (August 2011); National MOAS for Colombian High Schools - Barranquilla, Colombia (held annually since 2011).

Models of the Permanent Council for OAS Interns (MOAS/PC):  The MOAS/PC is held three times a year at OAS Headquarters, and was customized for the OAS interns, to complement the experience gained through their work in the various areas of the OAS, so that they may have an integral view of the mission, functions and role of the Organization. This Model began in the Summer of 2008.